PCDC Releases Statement on Livestock Moratorium Proposal

12 Sep 2019

Today, the PCDC board of directors issued a statement saying it strongly supports the livestock industry and stands firmly against a recent call to impose a moratorium on development.

A coalition including Change.org, GC Resolve, Nebraskans for Peace and the Nebraska Sierra Club is behind the push to impose a moratorium. Members of the coalition have a long-standing objection to the Costco poultry plant that recently began operation in Fremont, NE.

Randy Ruppert, a Nickerson resident who helped start Nebraska Communities United to oppose Costco, said the moratorium is needed because state and local zoning laws are inadequate to deal with large confined animal feeding operations, CAFO’s. He was quoted by the Lincoln Journal Star as saying, “Most county zoning regulations are 40 years out of date."

PCDC believes the coalition has cited inaccurate and misleading information in justification for its actions. In fact, the Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy and Phelps County have rigorous permitting, zoning and inspection procedures to protect residents, livestock and the environment.

PCDC joins with the Nebraska State Dairy Association, Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), Nebraska Farm Bureau and many others in opposition to a moratorium. PCDC expresses its support of the livestock industry and appreciation for the industry’s contributions to Nebraska’s economic and social fabric. Moreover, PCDC commends policy and regulatory personnel across Nebraska for their responsible, common sense and effective approach to regulation.

Livestock production creates a $616 million economic impact and is responsible for providing all or part of 1,500 jobs in Phelps County, according to a recent study commissioned by PCDC and performed by NPPD economists. This study also measured the significant impact livestock operations have on all segments of the Phelps County economy, which would also be damaged by the proposed moratorium.

 “There are multiple livestock related growth opportunities in front of us. We must be ready. And, we must be willing to provide visible support and encouragement,” said Ron Tillery, executive director of PCDC.